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24 Jan 2017
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Yoga is usually understood as a procedure for unification. This unification is multifaceted. In a single dimension, it's a unification of the several systems which exist within the individual such as the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual systems. In total there are believed to be five different systems within human life. These are typically referred to as the koshas what are physical, energetic, mental, subtle, and bliss sheaths. Within our current knowledge of yoga, we are working to unify these five bodies or layers of the individual. Another process of unification occurs between of the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness.

This unification is usually referred to as Samadhi and it is one of the primary transformations that occur within the practice of yoga. Observing this from a different angle, Samadhi is a transformation of perception in which disillusionments about the world are reformed so that the truth behind reality are visible in its purest of form. Yoga, like a system, has changed into a various branches by which people pursue the evolution and unification from the elements inside their being. Each branch retains its own unique set of ideas and philosophies which defined the procedure and eventual obtainment of complete unification.

There isn't any right or wrong system of yoga as the each possesses their own distinct characteristics that accommodate the needs of various characteristics and personalities which exist among human beings. Each product is designed to accommodate a different personality type, and yoga has developed into a broad reaching system that may be practiced by nearly anyone who has an interest in pursuing a spiritual life. An exercise like Jnana yoga is fantastic for someone who is philosophically minded whereas the practice of bhakti yoga is good for someone who is emotionally perceptive and inclined perfectly into a sense of devotion. In this article we are reviewing the greater mainstream practices of yoga which are derived from the tradition of yogic spirituality. These traditions of yoga are as early as 500 years and as old as thousands of. While there are many modern practices of yoga that have been based on various teachers, the systems we are discussing are traditional systems that have been around throughout many generations.
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Bhakti Yoga The first system we'll discuss it's Bhakti yoga. Bhakti yoga is really a practice in which the spiritual practitioner concentrates on developing a state of devotion inside the mind and also the heart. In bhakti yoga a strong feeling of faith is needed as you is anticipated to submit themselves to God via a procedure for self surrendering. The practices and techniques of bhakti yoga are therefore designed to help surrendered the ego and embrace with love the thought of the creator. The more common practices of bhakti yoga are kirtan (chanting/song), japa (mantra repetition), and meditation on the divine.

Usually the practice of bhakti yoga is suggested to become practiced by those who are well linked to their emotions as well as receptive more subtle feelings within themselves yet others. Emphatic love defines the concept of bhakti yoga because the practitioner devotes their whole being for the spiritual divine. A belief in God or perhaps a higher being is vital to the practice, and without them, it is close to impossible to practice bhakti yoga. The devotion that's practiced by the bhakti Yogi is not certainly one of slavery towards the divine. Rather, it is a relationship that's full of love, friendship, and companionship. In bhakti yoga people view God as a friend, a follower, a father, or mother. It's through this relationship that bhakti yoga is practiced. There are lots of aspects of devotion for that bhakti yogi; there are lots of forms of God that are worshiped in yoga including Shiva, Vishnu, Brahman, Parvatti, etc. Aside from the metaphysical types of God, a master or teacher can also be worshiped within the practice. The main purpose of this practice is to help in relinquishing the ego and unifying the individual being using the universal.o

Karma Yoga Karma is an facet of human life that's responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It's believed in yoga that Karma keeps the cycle of rebirth in motion as past actions and events force us to consider another life on the planet to balance the inequalities that we have imposed within our spirit and also the universe. Once accumulated Karmic merit is balanced or destroyed then cycle of birth and death is stopped and the spirit is return to its origins within the universal divine. The practice of Karma yoga directly addresses this primary facet of life, works to abolish the effects of Karma with disciplined action that formulates a separation between the individual and the results of Karma. This separation occurs via a procedure for disassociation where the individual separates themselves in the benefits or losses using their actions inside the world.

The practice of Karma yoga is typically based on one's Dharma or duties within the world. Dharma is dependent upon those things of the baby in the past, including both past of the present life as well as the past of previous lives. In certain respects, Dharma is the most efficient way for a person to make use of their time on earth for spiritual progress as it is based upon the realistic capacities and potential of the baby. One of many components of Dharma is acting in the world without thought of the benefits or losses of one's actions. The practitioner lives and acts inside the world with no expectations or imposed impressions of methods the long run should unfold. The mind is centered on selfless service and working for that advantage of the higher good as opposed to the independent needs of the baby. In Karma yoga the practice is gradual as the individual slowly relinquishes the bonds of karma and liberates the spirit from the confines of egocentric thought processes.

Although a Karma yogi may practice techniques such as the asanas, breathing practices, and meditations, the primary focus of the spiritual practice is service and actions using the focus of selflessness and humbleness. The very first reference to Karma yoga is within the Bhagavad-Gita in a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna. Within this dialogue, Krishna informs Arjuna that he can merge his consciousness with Krishna's as he surrenders his actions to the divine (which in this instance is Krishna). Krishna encourages Arjuna to act and follow out his duty without worry or thought on the advantages or losses of his actions. He informs Arjuna that acting within the name of Krishna (or divine) will provide him using the liberation that he has established to achieve.

Kundalini Yoga Kundalini yoga is really a practice of yoga which originated from the practice of tantra yoga. Historically speaking, tantra yoga is considered to be one of the oldest forms of spirituality that is still used today. Among the critical factors of tantra yoga may be the incorporation of kundalini which is considered to be the primordial force existence within each human being. The practice of Kundalini yoga was formed to control and harness the potential of the kundalini energy within the body. Unlike the other systems of yoga, kundalini yoga can be a highly unstable practice of yoga as the release of kundalini energy can lead to extreme psychological and physical disorders if not controlled in the proper manner.

Therefore, the concept of kundalini yoga is really a highly advanced system which is usually only practiced by those people who are well advanced in the practices of spirituality. One of the primary prerequisites of kundalini yoga is a strong mind and a healthy body without which the discharge of kundalini energy could be damaging or perhaps fatal. Even a specific term in psychology known as kundalini syndrome continues to be produced for anyone who has gone into dementia due to the improper release of kundalini energy. In kundalini yoga the techniques presented are designed to help awaken the kundalini energy. Aside from its definition because the primordial energy, kundalini is also known as the serpent energy. Just before its awakening, the kundalini energy rests at the base of the spine by means of a spiraled coil much like what serpent. When released, the kundalini energy shoots up with the spine, making its way towards the crown of the head. Depending upon the purification from the energy channels along the spinal column referred to as chakras, the kundalini will either reach its final destination and the head or is going to be stuck within one of the chakras. Usually kundalini yoga starts by purifying all the chakras. This purification helps to maintain a balance flow of prana in the human body. It's believed that a balance flow of prana within the body leads to a sound frame of mind and body. Once the body, mind, and pranic channels are purified, the practitioner of kundalini yoga works to release the kundalini energy. The purification process an essential excellence of the practice as it helps to ensure a smooth flow of kundalini energy through the chakra system.

For both the purification from the chakras as well as the discharge of kundalini energy a wide variety of techniques are implemented. Included in this are yoga asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing practices), meditations, and mudra (gestures) specifically designed to assist regulate the pranic energy and awaken kundalini. Unlike some from the other systems of yoga, kundalini yoga should never be practiced through self training. It is essential that one who is interested in practicing kundalini yoga finds an adept practitioner and teacher of this system of yoga to guide them with the process. Without such guidance, it is likely that severe mental and physical disorders will arise as kundalini energy is a highly potent element inside the human body that is not meant to be tempered with unless your body, mind, and pranic channels are fully purified. There are countless tales of people who released kundalini yoga prematurely and located themselves in a disoriented and neurotic state. There are lots of books published on kundalini yoga and those who have experienced kundalini energy always advise to have a highly knowledgeable and observant teacher to steer a practitioner through the system of kundalini yoga.

Hatha Yoga The term hatha has lots of meanings. Typically it is divided up into two individual words, ha and tha. The meaning of those words can be interpreted as the sun and the moon. It can also be asserted these two test is Beeja Mantras or primordial sounds that are responsible for composing matter. At the same time, ha represents the pranic body while tha is that of the mental body. Whichever interpretation one chooses to think or follow, an extremely important component of hatha yoga is a balancing from the polarities of energy within the body (ida and pingala) as well as a purification from the mind and the entire body.

Many people, inside a modern context, consider hatha yoga to be a practice of the physical body. While this is not incorrect, hatha yoga includes a lot more philosophies and methods that address more subtle aspects of the human system. Among the essential aspects of hatha yoga may be the element of purification. In hatha yoga purification occurs within the many aspects of a persons being; there's a purification of the physical, mental, and energetic, and emotional bodies. It's believed that once all of the our body is purified than spiritual advancement towards self liberation can happen. Unlike Raja yoga, which we'll discuss later, hatha yoga does not outline a prerequisite of moral values before conducting the techniques of yoga. Rather, hatha yoga begins with the yoga postures or asanas and also the energetic purification techniques of pranayama. Once a considerable knowledge of both of these practices is attained, more advanced techniques including Shatkarmas (detoxification), Pranayamas (nadhi cleansing), Mudras (energy channeling), Bundhas (energy locks), and other techniques which lead towards Samadhi (self-realization) could be practiced.

Similar to most practices of yoga, hatha yoga maintains the belief that techniques for example meditation and concentration must only be done following the body and the mind having purified. Without such preparation it's useless to rehearse meditation as no benefit is going to be caused by the practice. Hatha yoga originated from numerous texts which were written between 500-1500 A.D. In comparison to the other kinds of yoga we are discussing, hatha yoga may be the youngest of them all using its major text the Hatha Yoga Pradipika being finalized within the 16th century.
Hatha yoga could be considered to be a preliminary practice to more complex systems of yoga, however it possesses within itself the power to lead towards spiritual liberation. A far more modest system of yoga, hatha yoga can be used by most people and does not need a well established body and mind to start the practice. Therefore, it's a practice used by many who wish to use yoga as an aid towards spiritual freedom.

Raja Yoga Raja yoga is the Royal path and is literally translated as royal union from Sanskrit. The system of Raja yoga is derived from the teachings of Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras that have been written between 100 and 300 A.D. Some may also make reference to this technique of yoga has Ashtanga Yoga, however Raja yoga continues to be the standard terminology employed for the practice of yoga guided by Ptanjali's Yoga Sutras and some distinctions separate the two in one another. Here, we are primarily worried about the standard system of Raja yoga that has been practiced in India because the origins of the Sutras. Raja yoga is a road to intuition as well as psychic perception. Therefore both of these facilities are needed to ensure that spiritual growth to happen. Some spiritual masters like Swami Tureyananda think that Raja yoga is practiced after one has obtained substantial transformation through preliminary practices of yoga.

Even still some other teachers believe that the concept of Raja yoga is commenced after preliminary states of Samadhi are experienced. Therefore, Raja yoga is not a practice for that vast majority of people. Within the yoga sutras, Patanjali lightly outlines the prerequisites for that more complex techniques of yoga. Most the yoga sutras are dedicated to understanding and controlling the mind including its four components of Chitta, Buddhi, Manas and Ahamkara. Considerable attention is given to how the mind works and operates along with the various levels and dimensions that exist inside the mind. The remainder of the text discusses the stages through which one experience along the path towards self-realization, and attention is offered to any or all the various pitfalls that may arise on the way. The system of Raja yoga is generally outlined in defined inside the "8 limbed path." These limbs include:

oYama- code of conduct and self restraint
oNiyama- religious observances, devotion to ones practice, and discipline
oAsana- formation of the stable seat for both the mind and the entire body
oPranayama- regulating breath which results in a unification and balance between your body and the mind
oPratyahara- withdrawal of the sensory organs of perception in the external environment including all five senses (six should you include the mind)
oDharana- concentration
oDhyana- meditation
oSamadhi- self realization, or perhaps a super conscious condition of being.

Together these eight limbs make up the practice and systematic approach of Raja Yoga. Like kundalini yoga, Raja yoga requires a tremendous amount of guidance and direction without which many problems and ultimate failure will arise. Therefore, it is essential that one that has an interest in practicing Raja yoga finds a teacher or guru that has perfected the machine and has achieved a real condition of self-realization.

Jnana Yoga The practice of Jana yoga is definitely understood inside the two words 'Jana' and 'Yoga' which together mean 'Union through Wisdom.' the concept of Jana yoga is a very practical system for the Western mind which usually approaches things through the intellect and rational deduction. While ultimately both of these aspects are abandoned later within the path, Jana yoga begins with intellectual inquiry and rational observation. While Jana yoga encourages a belief in God or the supreme, it doesn't necessitate the belief and therefore it may even be used by those who are rational atheists. The techniques utilized in Jana yoga are primarily concerned with a procedure of deduction in which one observes all aspects of life.

A process of self inquiry and questioning is undertaken because the practitioner gradually removes the illusions and misperceptions from the mind because they work towards the truth of the simplest nature. The concept of Jana yoga could be understood within the simple Sanskrit phrase "Neti, Neti," that is openly translated as not this, not that. In Jana yoga one removes the different layers of the onion of the mind until they reached the main which is no-thingness or unmanifested. Jana yoga has four major guidelines which helped to lead towards the practitioner towards self-realization. As Jana yoga is primarily a method of inquiry, it does not require techniques such as pranayama and asanas in order to achieve self-realization. The four guidelines of the Jana Yogi include: Viveka- Discrimination (between truth and never truth); Vairagya- Dispassion (from attachment world and also the mind/body); Shad-sampat- Six Virtues (tranquility, dama (sensory control), uparati (renunciation), titiksha (endurance), shraddha (faith), and samadhana (concentration)); and Mumukshutva- desiring liberation.


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